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Demons (鬼 in the original Japanese) are supernatural monsters who are the titular main antagonists of the manga Demon Slayer. They were originally humans who are transformed or been cursed by Muzan Kibutsuji, turned into ravenous monsters feeding on human flesh, and most of them have no shred of humanity inside of them. When they perish they are disintegrated into ashes without leaving any trace.
The demons are remorseless monsters who only care about eating humans to gain strength. They enjoy causing pain and destruction. They are loyal to their creator, Muzan Kibutsuji, but deeply fear him since their lives are totally at his whim. Even if with a family of humans, they pretend to care for them for their safetey, such as Muzan with his wife and daughter.
Demons are most dangerous when they are just converted; when humans are freshly turned into Demons they are utterly consumed by their gnawing hunger so they lose all reasoning, causing them to attack and devour any humans - be they stranger or even loved ones - within close vicinity. Once humans become Demons, they can no longer consume human foods they previously had been eating unless they have a medical knowledge of modifying their bodies to be able to eat certain foods (such as Tamayo who can drink teas after modifying her body).
However, there are few demons who have humanity inside of them such as Nezuko Kamado, Tamayo and Yushiro. By struck of luck they managed to escape from Muzan's deadly control of their lives. They despise Muzan for their own reasons (being manipulated into conversion in case of Tamayo, Muzan attempting on his lady's life in case of Yushiro and being forced to convert into one in case of Nezuko) and join hands with Demon Slayer Corps to take out the Demon lord. These renegade Demons stopped eating humans and instead discovered other means to sustain themselves (Nezuko substituted her hunger for human flesh with sleep, Yushiro and Tamayo drink donated bloods with minimal amounts). They are willing to protect those who they cares such as Nezuko defending her brother Tanjiro and Yushiro defending Tamayo.
While vast majority of Demons are humanoids, there is one exception: Tamayo's Demon pet named Chachamaru is a cat-turned-Demon and is also free from Muzan's control.
Although they must feed on human flesh and blood to sustain themselves whether they wish or not, thereby inevitably becoming enemies of humanity, they were once humans whom many have traumatic pasts. Although there are wicked former humans such as Muzan, Douma, Enmu, Kaigaku and Gyokko whose villainies can only be stopped with their deaths, most of them suffered extreme injustices in their human lives which enabled Muzan to manipulate wounds in their hearts to becoming Demons. At the time Muzan made his offer to humans to become Demons, they were so shattered both mentally and physically to the point that they saw no way out other than becoming Demons. Some of humans turned into humans did not have choice at all (such as Nezuko and Shizu) and end up devouring those who they once cherished most.
Also because Demons became what they are by Muzan's blood that can act as internal surveillance device injected in them, their lives are completely under Muzan's mercy. And even if Demons achieve justices they could not get in their human lives, even if they redeem themselves, because of sins they committed as Demons (especially eating humans, which is deemed a mortal sin in the world of Demon Slayer), their souls are condemned to hell no matter how virtuous or moral they once might have been as humans.
Because Muzan created these Demons, all crimes Demons commit against humanity are linked both directly and indirectly to Muzan.
Powers and Abilities
- Immortality: Demons possess incredibly long lifespan. They are immune to normal weapons. The only way to kill them is either by Muzan Kibutsuji's curse, sunlight or through decapitation by Nichirin Blades.
- Regeneration: Demons are able to regenerate their body but unable to regenerate when they are killed by the sunlight sword or the light from the sun. The rapidity of Demons' regeneration depends upon how powerful and more evolved they are.
- Physical Abilities: Demons possess powers far exceed ordinary humans after eaten humans or other demons for powers and strength.
- Evolution: the more humans Demons consume the stronger they become, although the degree of potential varies upon individuals. But as the series progresses, some Demons show evolution by total immunity to beheading (Muzan), resistant to sunlight (Kamado siblings), can survive decapitation for a while (Akaza and Kokushibou) etc.
- Shapeshifting: All demons have a shared ability and attribute of shapeshifting through the precise manipulation their body. For weaker demons, shapeshifting is automatic and usually random. For example, humans that recently became demons could have horns, sharp nails, fangs or extra limbs that are granted through demonization. Demons that possess more of Muzan's blood would be able to control their own shapeshifting more precisely, enabling them to change their appearance at will. As the Demon King, Muzan's shapeshifting ability is the most advanced, being able to change his appearance and even his aura flawlessly, fooling even the likes of the Lower Ranks.
- Supernatural Blood: All demons have supernatural and special blood that originate entirely from Muzan Kibutsuji. It is the main source of all their abilities, characteristics, attributes and capabilities, thus being the most important aspect of demons. The higher the concentration of Muzan's blood a demon possesses, the overall stronger they are. Once demons grow strong enough, they develop supernatural abilities unique to themselves known as Blood Demon Arts, magic uses a demon's blood as a medium.
- Unlimited Stamina & Endurance: All demons have a shared physical trait of endless and limitless stamina and vitality, simply being unable to accumulate fatigue or get tired no matter how hard they try to exert themselves. Demons can also endure pain and discomfort much better than humans and even the likes of Hashira, taking on onslaught of attacks as if they were nothing, such that a severed arm or slashed neck wouldn't even bother them. It is also revealed that demons don't need to sleep. Giyu Tomioka stated that demons don't feel pain or exhaustion.
- Accelerated Growth Rate: Demons grow at superhumanly fast rates, dependent on the number of humans they have consumed and the amount of Muzan Kibutsuji's blood they have assimilated. This allows even the weakest humans, like Rui when he was a human (due to his naturally weak physique), to become one of the most powerful beings in existence in mere months. As a result, demons are able to reach further heights that are impossible to attain when human as long as they keep assimilating Muzan's blood and consuming humans. Some demons, however, have a limit to how much they can use to grow stronger, and they might be not compatible with a higher amount of Muzan's blood and die if they don't consume enough humans.
- Biological Absorption: Some demons have displayed the ability to absorb biological matter into their bodies through physical contact, mainly as an alternative method for consumption. It is also implied that demons can kill other demons by absorbing them into their bodies, as Kokushibo absorbed the demons that lost to him in Blood Battles. Muzan also used this ability to nullify a Blood Demon Art that pierced his body.
- Disease Immunity: Demons have an innate immunity to all types of diseases and ailments, with complex anti-demon drugs and the poison of a Wisteria flower being the only exception, the former being able to effectively weaken demons and the latter able to kill demons if they receive even milligrams of the substance.
- Flesh Manipulation: All demons have the shared ability which allow them to control and alter their own body's flesh to a certain extent, such as growing limbs, creating identical clones of themselves, and detaching body parts and remotely controlling them. Weaker demons, like the Temple Demon, are capable of completely creating a pair of arms on the bottom of their headwhile members of the Twelve Kizuki possess flesh alteration abilities so advanced they can flawlessly generate fully-functioning weapons or clothing out of their flesh, to the point that they are indistinguishable from their normal counterparts. Lower Rank One, Enmu's flesh altering ability is so advanced that he could merge his entire body with a train, turning the locomotive into his flesh, blood and bones
- Information Sharing: Demons possess the ability to disseminate and transmit information to one another through psychic means. Muzan Kibutsujihad used this information sharing ability to show an image of Tanjiro Kamanto Enmu after giving him orders to kill him. Gyokko also stated that he recognized Muichiro Tokito's Demon Slayer Mark from the information of Tanjiro he received from Muzan. Doma was privy to the poison that Shinobu Kocho used against the Daughter Spider Demon on Mount Natagumo. Muzan was also able to give Kokushibo orders during the Infinity Castle Arc. Kokushibo also knew of Tanjiro's existence and the fact that his brother's Sun Breathing still remains through this ability. In the second databook, it was revealed that demons like Akaza could share his thoughts and sight with demons lower ranked than him and had complained to Muzan that Doma was using this ability to constantly bother him when the latter became Upper Rank Two.
- Inhuman Physical Capabilities: Even the weakest of demons possess inhuman strength, speed and endurance, being able to outmatch the average person in all physical categories effortlessly. For example, the Temple Demon and Swamp Demon can outmatch Tanjiro Kamado in terms of speed, moving faster than he can perceive or react. Even the weakest members of the Twelve Kizuki, like Rui, can cause Tanjiro to cough up blood with casual punches and kicks,while Lower Rank demons with no combat background, namely Enmu, can evade Tanjiro's attacks and techniques without much effort. A demon's physical abilities are implied to be directly tied to the amount of Muzan's blood they have assimilated and how much humans they have consumed.
- Menacing Aura: Demons have a naturally menacing presence and aura that evokes fear, with stronger demons having a more intense aura. The aura of Lower Rank demons like Rui can make the air feel heavy and thick with a mere gaze, while Upper Rank demons like Zohakuten and Kokushibo possessing auras that can induce fear and physical pain into their opponents or even make them lose the will to fight.
- Enhanced Senses: Due to their predatory nature, demons possess sharper sensory abilities. Most notably, demons can discern normal blood from marechi blood. A low level demon like Slasher was able to track the smell of bento back to its source. As noted by Muzan, demons are able to distinguish things humans hardly understand, such as blood type, sickness, and genes.
- Extrasensory Perception: Some demons have developed a form of extrasensory perception that enables them to discern the aura of demons and humans alike.
- Blood Demon Arts: Demons possessed a magical arts by using their bloods.
- Sunlight Resistance: Certain demons can develop an ability to walk in sunlight without burning into ashes.
Sunlight: The greatest threat to nearly all demons is sunlight, which ignites their cells, severely limits their regeneration, and fatally burns them to ashes.
The only demons so far to have developed resistance to sunlight are Nezuko Kamado and Tanjiro Kamado.
Nichirin Swords: Nichirin Swords are blades made out of Scarlet Crimson Iron Sand and Scarlet Crimson Ore, which absorbed sunlight to such an extent that a decapitation strike with such a weapon can instantly kill a demon. There are exceptions, however, as Muzan, Akaza, and Kokushibo overcame this weakness and survived decapitation by these blades.
Wisteria Flowers: The Wisteria flower is poisonous to demons, and releases a scent that can repel demons. Wisteria flowers can be used to create deadly and highly potent poison mixtures to easily kill demons in small amounts, and later contributed to the death of Upper Rank Two Doma, though he had to ingest over 700 times the lethal dosage.
Curse of Kibutsuji: Every demon created through Muzan's blood is also inflicted with a deadly curse which activates if they call out divulge any information about him, most commonly by saying his last name in the presence of Demon Slayers. If any demon he creates even utters his last name: "Kibutsuji" out loud, the curse activates which causes three demonic arms to spawn from their bodies and destroy them, Demons like Tamayo, Yushiro and Nezuko, however, are freed from this curse.
After Muzan Kibutsuji's death, the demons who were in his control became extinct except few Demons who are fortunate enough to escape from his control; those few still live. Fast forwarding to the Reiwa Era (2019 AD ~ ongoing) of Japan, the Demons' existence are now dismissed by modern day people as merely just fairy tales, urban folklores, and imaginary monsters by children.
However, a botanist named Aoba Hashibira, a descendant/grandson of Inosuke Hashibira, discovered Blue Spider Lilies, mystical flowers that Muzan had been desperately searching for in his quest for true immortality for a millennium. It is revealed that the Blue Spider Lily is a flower that only blooms during 2-3 days (at random) out of an entire year, meaning Muzan and Demons who cannot walk under the sun due to being vulnerable could never have it.
Unfortunately for Aoba and his fellow botanists (but fortunate for overall humanity), due to Aoba's mismanagement Blue Spider Lilies samples under his care all ended up withering. To make matters even worse for Aoba, the location where he found Blue Spider Lilies, did not have any surviving Blue Spider Lilies or their seeds either; Blue Spider lilies at that location also all perished due to having been affected by the devastation of careless digging conducted by Aoba's botanist team. Aoba had to apologize to his colleagues and sponsors, but his superiors were not mollified and he was eventually fired from his job.
With the Blue Spider Lilies being endangered or extinct, the chance of Demons being created again with Blue Spider Lily is nil.
The only demons who are currently still alive is Yushiro and Chachamaru.
- During Taisho Era, Tanjiro and Nezuko were told to be careful at night by their grandparents because man-eating demons would eat them at night if they carelessly venture outside. In Reiwa Era, descendants of Tanjiro and Nezuko were told that there were man-eating demons once upon a time, but their great-great-grand parents and their friends exterminated those demons.
- Demons share many similarities with Vampires as they're depicted in traditional tales.
- They are both immortals with inhuman traits, supernatural abilities, who consume humans, and they both are weak to the same three things: sunlight, a special fragrance (Garlic for vampires, Wisteria for demons) and a certain metal (Silver for vampires, Nichirin Swords for demons)
- Demons are unable to process human food, when they ingest human food, they simply throw it back up.
- Demons don't sleep, so they're awake during the day, but it's dangerous if even a little sunlight shines on them, so they don't move around much until nightfall.
- Nezuko, Tamayo, Yushiro, and later Chachamaru are the only four demons not under the control of Muzan.